14th Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest
Sponsored by Onkyo Corporation
Japan Institute of Scientific Research for Education
The Braille Mainichi, Mainichi Newspapers
Audiovisual manufacturer Onkyo Corporation, Japan Institute of Scientific Research for Education, and the Braille Mainichi, Mainichi Newspapers established the Onkyo Braille Essay Contest in 2003 to build a bridge to the world of the visually challenged people who very closely feel the warmth of the people. In 2004, the scope of the contest expended with the addition of the International Category; starting with the 9th contest held in 2011, the name of this annual event has been changed to the “Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest.”
The 14th contest held this year invited entries from Japan for the Japanese Category as well as entries from 108 countries for the International Category: 21 countries and regions in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) under World Blind Union Asia Pacific (WBU-AP), 21 countries in West Asia, Central Asia, and Middle East under Asian Blind Union (ABU), 45 countries in Europe under European Blind Union (EBU), and 21 countries in North America and the Caribbean under World Blind Union North America and Caribbean (WBU-NAC). As an international essay contest, the event promotes cross-cultural communication and serves as a bridge across an increasingly complex global community.
Last year, we started a new prize in the domestic category, Lyrics Award, with an eye to fusing lyrics with music. This year the winner lyric was given the music to give it a finishing touch. We hope that this new prize will be promoted more widely together with the Supporting Group established two years ago to make the general public know more about the efforts of family members, schools, work places, and local supporters of and related to the visually disable people. We hope that the people will learn how the visually disable people in and out of Japan think, feel, and live by reading their essays and a harmony of living and working together will sound in our society.
= Selection Results = (honorific titles are omitted)
Japanese Category The number of entries: 145
(Asia-Pacific Region) The number of entries: 24 entries from 8 countries
Cooperation: WBUAP (World Blind Union Asia-Pacific)
(West Asia, Central Asia, Middle East Region) The number of entries: 39 entries from 12 countries
Cooperation: ABU (Asia Blind Union)
(European Region) The number of entries:51 entries from 19 countries
Cooperation: EBU (European Blind Union)
(North America and Caribbean Region) The number of entries: 17 entries from 3 countries
Cooperation: WBU-NAC (World Blind Union North America and Caribbean)
The award ceremony for the Japanese Category will be held on November 7 at the Onkyo Yaesu Building in Chuo City, Tokyo. On behalf of all recipients, cash prize of 200,000 yen will be presented to the Otsuki Award winner, Keigo Nagai and 50,000 yen to Lyric Award winner, Hiromoto Tasaki, along with an award certificate and a mini stereo system by Onkyo for each winner. And Akihito Tokunaga, a composer/arranger, composed it to an award-winning song and played the awards song in the ceremony. The winners in the International Category will receive their award certificates (in English), cash prizes, and additional gifts from their respective local office.
This brochure is donated by Onkyo Corporation and the Braille Mainichi, Mainichi Newspapers to public libraries, schools for the blind, braille libraries, and other relevant institutions across Japan for the purpose of widely conveying messages of the visually impaired to the public in Braille and writing.
This compilation of award-winning essays in Japanese Braille is also translated into English Braille and donated to organizations for the visually impaired in 180 countries around the world.
Honest Mind and Strong Will
Onkyo Corporation Honorary President
Japan Institute of Scientific Research for Education Chief Director
This year, the 14th anniversary of the Braille Essay Contest, the essays submitted in each group are more excellent than in the previous years. Especially the judge had a heated discussion in the screening meeting of the Student Group, and ultimately the essay of an elementary school student won the Grand Prize, or Otsuki Award for the first time in the history of the Contest. In the Lyrics Award newly established last year, it was decided that the winner lyric would be performed with music at the awarding ceremony. This year’s Contest was therefore particularly impressive.
The work of Keigo Nagai, the winner of the Otsuki Award, uses simple expressions but directly conveys the message of his pure and strong will to the readers. Mindful of expressing thanks to those who help him, he wants to behave with the courage to say no when it is necessary without always turning to their help. This independent-mindedness is remarkable and significant in that it makes us think about how the people with and without disabilities interact with each other. All adults in the jury were awed by the profoundness of his essay.
Delgerbayar Erdenesambu, Mongolia, won WBU-AP (World Blind Union Asia-Pacific) Otsuki Award in the International Category. In his essay, he writes about his positive lifestyle with the strong determination that we can overcome any difficulty in our life even if we face problems and agony as the visually disabled. He landed a job in the acoustic field because of his excellent auditory sense. He further takes on other challenges including study of computer and English beside his main job. As a reader, I can see his steady and sure path to the future. Seema Pahuja, India, the winner of overseas ABU (Asian Blind Union) Otsuki Award, presented us in his essay something that makes us think quite a lot. Humans have a far wider and more excellent sphere of activity than other lifeforms and are blessed with immeasurable intelligent capability. However, they continue fighting each other and cannot stay in peace because of lust, discrimination, and religious differences. Having said that, he powerfully maintains that the most powerful weapon to realize peace is love. I strongly hope that the people in the world share his wish. Teresa Dederko , Poland, won EBU (European Blind Union) Otsuki Award. According to her essay, she loves reading books more than anything, works as a librarian, reads books to her children, and believes braille enriches her life and is indispensable in her life. All those feelings are powerfully conveyed to the readers. I am sure that she continues to lead a full life with pride without forgetting her respect of Louis Braille, the creator of braille. Larry Johnson, USA, won WBU-NAC (World Blind Union North America and Caribbean) Otsuki Award. At the age of 82, he has lived with braille for over 75 years. He writes about a happy episode and a sad episode about braille, and the readers can vividly visualize all of these episodes and enjoy reading his lively essay merrily. I believe he stays healthy and lively for many years to come and leads a merry life mingling with various people.
For the Lyrics Award, Ms. Yuriko Matsumura, a poet, selected three excellent works as she did last year. In addition, Mr. Tokunaga, who gave the music to the winner lyrics, also helped her select the excellent works. The winning lyric created by Hiromoto Tasaki narrates sorrow and wistful feelings in the background of very beautiful scenic expressions. This remarkable arrangement cannot help but make every reader deeply moved. We can listen to the truly wonderful work with his remarkable lyric and the music of the beautiful melody created by Mr. Tokunaga.
Last but not least, I am deeply grateful to all the people who brought me all these brilliant works this year too. I also greatly appreciate Mainichi Newspapers and Braille Mainichi for their long years of support as the sponsor and WBU-AP, ABU, EBU, and WBU-NAC and the supporters in each country or region for all the arrangements of this Contest, including advertisement for works, screening, and awarding in their respective country.
As globalization continues, it is quite easy to imagine that people want a world where peoples of various positions and ideas understand each other and live together more than before. We need to create a better future full of peace and considerateness. I deeply wish that this Contest will help create such an ideal world, widely spread braille, and promote intercultural communication.
|These web pages should be compatible with text-reading software. However, users may experience some difficulties. Thank you for your understanding.